Yesterday, I got a call from the Audiology Department of UMass. She said she wanted to give me the rest of Garry’s official audiological follow-up appointments — as opposed to the surgical follow-ups. I had already gotten the ones for pre-op and Surgery, plus surgical follow-up. Lucky for both of us, she didn’t expect to talk to Garry personally. This is the only medical place that realized he can’t talk on the phone.

As a deaf person, he can’t chat on the phone. That’s what the surgery is all about. Every other time I talk to a medical person other than our family guy, they insist on talking to Garry. I hand him the phone, shout “JUST SAY YES!” Which he does and the conversation can progress. They totally fail to have a grip on the “he can’t hear” issue. Either that or they think if they yell louder into the mouthpiece, that will fix it.

No more of these!

The cochlear implant is a surgical miracle and a lot of technological fine-tuning. Post surgery, he has a date for “turning on the equipment,” three more tune-ups, with a final official get-together after six months. If he needs more help or another type of help, like speech therapy, we can add those.

It’s just as well we aren’t trying to do this in Boston. We’d never survive the traffic.

The object of all of this? To bring Garry back into the world. To make him part of the conversation. To have him in it and not have to round it up and tell him about it later. To take him out of the enclosed space in which he now lives and bring him into the bigger world — the way he was. The way I remember him.

All those objects they will put in his ear and on them? These will change him. I have a feeling they will change him more than he expects. Maybe even more than I expect.

Tune in! We’ll be playing this one by ear.


We play sound loudly. The volume is up!

Garry doesn’t hear well and this is an old story. Now, finally, after long years of having other people living around here, we can finally turn up the TV to whatever level is comfortable for us without needing to listen to other people complain about it.

We know it’s loud. Sometimes, it’s very loud. If Garry needs it to be very, VERY loud, he wears headphones. That way he gets to hear everything and I don’t get pinned to the sofa by incoming sound waves.

Mind you, I like sound louder now than I did a couple of years ago. Time has a way with our eyes and ears and other parts. We need to talk louder — and slower. It’s not just not hearing the sound. It’s also about catching all the words … and fully understanding them. This is more of an issue for Garry because his hearing is worse, but it’s catching up with me, too.

Sui musicians. Older than me. Can they still hear?

It’s a subtle thing. The weirdest part of losing hearing is that you don’t think you are losing hearing. It just seems people are mumbling. Early in my life, I went for a hearing test and the answer really was my husband was mumbling. They told him to speak up. Problem solved. But that was 45 years ago.

I can hear most of the things that matter to me. I can’t hear faint sounds that were clear even last year. The beeping of one of the electronic devices in the kitchen — the microwave or the electric oven. I can’t easily distinguish where a particular sound is coming from, whether it’s in this room or down the hall or in the basement.

When I write I have always “tuned out” the sounds of the world around me, but now, I do it better. I tune out the world and it’s really tuned OUT.

My eyes, on the other hand, are getting better. I need weaker glasses with no reading glasses at all. I use my computer glasses for almost everything. If only the rest of my body would climb on board with my eyes. Maybe each year, I’d feel a little peppier than the previous one. I’d happily trade hearing for that peppy, perky, lively thing that used to be the norm for getting up in the morning. Being energetic. Wouldn’t that be something!


This post will be very brief. Rather than writing something I want to show you something. My wife Ellin and I belong to an audio theater group called VoiceScapes Audio Theater.


We do … well … audio theater. We are introducing a new feature we are going to post online called “Snippets”. What’s a Snippet Good question.

Basically Snippets are very short audio comic strips. I’m debuting our first Snippet here because it actually began as a post on this blog.  If TV Shows Were Real. And it is actually a variation of the format of Serendipity. Writing told with both words and pictures. I thought it be would appropriate to try it out first here. I’m also doing it because I really want your opinion. If you like it, great.

If it is horrible, tell me.

Really. No kidding. We’re experimenting here. So check it out. It’s only a couple of minutes long and I think it’s funny.  But I think farts are hilarious.


What happened to great sound?

I have an ancient telephone in the kitchen. It’s on the wall. It has a long wire that goes from the kitchen to somewhere. It gets kinked and coiled and very messed up … but the sound on that old telephone is 100% better than the sound on my electronic Panasonic OR my expensive “smart phone.”

Movies have pathetic sound. Loud, except half the time you can’t tell what anyone is saying. The music is too loud, the voices too soft. And the quality is, well, pathetic. It’s the same on television. They don’t seem to care about it. I don’t understand. Surely they know how to make good sound? They do it for music, so why can’t they do it for voices?


Is it just me?

Half the time, my telephone breaks up. No one can hear me. It’s 2017 and I’m yelling into the phone “Can you hear me? Hello? Hello?” This is the “good phone.” The expensive one. On the cell, sometimes, someone can hear it. The rest of the time? Good luck with that.

Let’s hear it for good sound. On television. Movies. Telephones. The British and Canadian television shows have much better sound than we do in this country. It’s something we might want to think about.

And now, back to the rest of the news.




This week’s topic is the colors of the sense of hearing.    You can be simple like I did this week and used instruments.  You can also get radical and show someone blasting apart a sidewalk with a jackhammer or the soothing sound of the ocean waves.  This week you can post anything that stimulates or delights you when you hear it.   Be creative and have fun. Feel free to dig around in your archives for photos if you don’t have anything new you can photograph.   Most of all I hope you have fun.

And fun it is. To you from way up in the mountains of Vermont …



VoiceScapes is a group of audio actors, directors, sound engineers, writers and producers who met and worked together annually in Missouri at the National Audio Theatre Festivals.

If you think that new radio drama is amateurish and kind of annoying, that “the good stuff” all dates back to the glory days of radio … I’ve got a surprise for you.


VoiceScapes Audio Theater is not merely as good as the stuff you may have heard from the 1930s, 1940s, and early 1950s … it’s better.

That’s right. Better. It sounds better. Better quality audio and more sophisticated sound effects. Much better acting. Gasp in awe at intelligent, often hilarious scripts. Tales to make you laugh out loud, other to make you weep. Storytelling like you’ve never heard it.

This is the good stuff. Especially for those who enjoy audiobooks, this is terrific listening. Audible listeners will recognize favorite narrators, too.

Give a listen. I’ll put my personal guarantee on this one!

See on Scoop.itIn and About the News